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Urban Sanctuary

At home with local idea man Jon Bailey


Published:

Photography by Robert Benson

Neighborhood

Mission Hills

Stats

3,200 square feet, with six bedrooms and five bathrooms, including a renovated mother-in-law suite on the lowest level of the house

Their story

With two working parents, two tweens, tennis lessons, homework, a dog, a gecko, a turtle (and a partridge in a pear tree), the Bailey-Klugh household is a busy one. Jon Bailey (at right, above) is the co-founder of i.d.e.a. agency, and has been a fixture in the local marketing and communications industry for decades, with clients ranging from Qualcomm to Rubio’s to Hotel del Coronado.

His husband, Triton Klugh, is vice president of design and development at InCharacter costumes. They’ve been partners for 17 years, and finally married in May at the sculpture garden in Balboa Park.

Their classic Craftsman is located in the heart of the city, perched atop a canyon and surrounded by mature trees. Over the years, they have updated it, adding a second story, remodeling the kitchen (twice!), and most recently, transforming the backyard into an urban oasis. The new eco-chic deck is primed for entertaining. But on most days, it’s a place to hang out with their daughters, Sophia, 12, and Ava, 10—tablets in hand, like typical kids, in this modern American family.

Tropical Paradise

Tropical Paradise

The backyard is a forest of creeping fig, jasmine, and ferns. “When we moved in, there was nothing; there was dirt,” Jon says. He and Triton added all the palm trees, a vegetable garden, and lemon and lime trees. The lot is set on a steep grade with cascading ironstone leading to the lowest level. Each step weighs one ton and had to be individually craned over the house.

Decked Out

Decked Out

The renovated deck by North Park-based Mooch Exterior Designs features durable and sustainable ipe wood. “We wanted something that was going to hold up that was also good for the world,” Jon says. To preserve the canyon views, they replaced the original redwood paneling with high-gauge, tension-wire railings. The custom outdoor fireplace doubles as a coffee table, with a removable hardtop surface.

Balinese Bedroom

Balinese Bedroom

The couple’s travels have inspired much of the décor. In the master bedroom, an intricate Balinese screen serves as a headboard. Jon found the dangling driftwood motifs at VI Star in Little Italy. He confesses, “I bought them without actually having a place to put them!” They eventually found a home beside the couple’s bed, which looks out toward a Juliet balcony and the canyon beyond. (Cognac leather stools from Pottery Barn, lamps from Urban Lighting, Donna Karan bedding available at Bloomingdale’s)

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts

Mooch also helped put the finishing touches on the front yard. “They’re incredible—really, really talented. He had all kinds of great ideas,” Jon says of Mooch’s principal designer, Paul Hunyady. Over the years, Jon and Triton have undertaken a series of expansions, always in keeping with the original 1913 Craftsman-style architecture. They added a second story in 2006, and converted the basement into a two-bedroom, two-bath guest suite. Are they done renovating? “Oh gosh, are you ever done? There’s always that upstairs office we’ve talked about, or that expanded garage, or...”

Gathering Spot

Gathering Spot

What was once a tiny galley kitchen has been remodeled twice. “It was small and hard to navigate,” Jon says. “I come from a big Sicilian family, and food is a really important part of our culture.” New design elements include beveled subway tile, granite countertops, and a butcher-block island. The couple chose the gold and mint colors to complement the granite. “They’re also a little bit of a throwback, so we liked that too.”

Dining al Fresco

Dining al Fresco

The main focus of the remodel was to create an indoor/outdoor living space, so the couple added French doors all along the back wall. They also had their dining chairs custom-made with low backs to protect the view from the living room, which looks through the dining room, to the backyard. The lighting pendants were inspired by some Jon had seen at Jsix restaurant downtown (prior to its recent face-lift). Tim Jackson of Urban Lighting sourced them for him. Jon says, “It was cool because the golden color wrapped from the kitchen into the dining room.” (Table from Crate & Barrel)

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